Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: How to address the mental health of migrant and refugee population in Europe? An integrated ...


A- A+
Alt. Display

Poster Abstracts

How to address the mental health of migrant and refugee population in Europe? An integrated shift in health and social care services - MigHealthCare project


Alejandro Gil-Salmerón

Polibienestar Research Institute - University of Valencia, ES
X close



Health and social care services across Europe are facing diverse challenges meeting the specific needs of migrants and refugees [1]. In this regard, vulnerable migrants fall outside mental healthcare services [2]. Based on this, Mig-Healthcare project, funded by the European Commission, explores the health needs of the migrant population in an effort to strengthen EU community-based services.


A total of 20 focus groups and 19 individual interviews were conducted between November 2017 and April 2018 with different stakeholders involved in the provision of health and social care to the migrant population in the 10 countries (Greece, France, Malta, Germany, Austria, Italy, Cyprus, Spain, Sweden and Bulgaria).


First of all, the results highlight that the reception models in the host country such as closed camps were reported as a negative factor for health, especially mental health. Consequently, the restriction of movement, live in ex-barracks, in a status of uncertainty and social deprivation augments the mental vulnerability of immigrants and refugees. In this regard, the feeling of isolation was acted as an important factor influencing the prevalence of mental health problems, and these problems were related to an aggravation of the integration process. Finally, informants reported that the cultural conception of mental health determinates the help-seeking behaviour of migrants and refugees, being one of the main barriers accessing adequate mental health services.


Mental health is regarded as a health priority by all the informants. However, health and social care services in Europe are ill-suited to delivery health care for migrants and refugees, in especially mental health care. As a result of this, most vulnerable migrants and refugees are excluded from these services.


Mig-Healthcare results highlight the need for tailored mental health care delivery for the migrant population with the aim of achieving increasing their accessibility to these services as well as their psychosocial well-being. Furthermore, policies should take into consideration the impact of the migration reception policies as part of the continuum of care.

Lessons learned

Migration and integration policies may impact on the mental health of the migrant population and a shift in care models to meet their specific needs may improve mental health outcomes and integration of migrant and refugee population in local European societies.


Differences between national systems in the participant countries appeared. Another limitation is the lack of representability but the large scale of the study gives a big picture of different realities of the European reception of the migrant population, its impact on their mental health as well as their need for better access to mental health services.


[1] Puchner, K., Karamagioli, E., Pilouli, A., Tsiamis, C., Kalogeropoulos, A., Kakalou, E. et al. Time to Rethink Refugee and Migrant Health in Europe: Moving from Emergency Response to Integrated and Individualized Health Care Provision for Migrants and Refugees. International Journal of Environ. Res. Public Health. 2018, 15(6):1100.

[2] Lindert, J., Schouler-Ocak, M., Priebe, S. Mental Health, health care utilisation of migrants in Europe. European Psiquatry. 2008, 23(Suppl. 1): 14-20.

How to Cite: Gil-Salmerón A. How to address the mental health of migrant and refugee population in Europe? An integrated shift in health and social care services - MigHealthCare project. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2020;21(S1):217. DOI:
Published on 01 Sep 2020.


  • PDF (EN)